The use of the internet is an essential part of our lives in many aspects. We use the internet to learn about current affairs, stay in touch with our loved ones, make our daily purchases, or even study or work. The world works in an increasingly integrated way with the network, and consequently, the information that we send or receive through our router is increasingly important and sensitive.
Hackers all over the world are aware of this and try to take advantage of the immense flow of information on the internet to intercept anyone’s confidential data or access credentials and use it for their own benefit. Leaks, hacks, and theft of banking data occur every day in every corner of the globe. It is more important than ever to adopt professional-level cybersecurity measures to protect our private and banking data.
Given the new wave of cyberattacks on a global scale, one wonders if it is even possible to have a completely secure internet connection. Is the possibility of surfing the internet without risk within reach of an average user?
The security measures you should take to protect your internet connection
Although there is always a certain component of risk when browsing the internet – just as there is always a particular risk when we go for a walk on the street – there are many cybersecurity measures that we can adopt economically to reduce this risk completely to a minimum. This is our selection of the most important things to implement:
1. A VPN
It is almost unthinkable to make online payments without using such a powerful encryption tool as a secure VPN, yet many internet users still do not use it. What is VPN? It is an application that is installed on computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices and that serves to robustly encrypt all the data that we send and receive through them. In this way, no one will be able to intercept the information you transmit over the internet, including your bank details or the passwords of your personal accounts.
2. An antivirus
Antiviruses have been an essential part of computer security for decades. During the 1990s, we saw the rise of these cybersecurity programs designed to counter the ever-increasing pile of computer viruses. Thirty years later, computer viruses are still a threat, so antivirus should still be an essential part of your Internet protection suite.
3. The HTTPS protocol
Whenever you visit a web page, you can see that its URL begins with the letters HTTP or HTTPS. These letters indicate whether a page has a connection protocol protected by an SSL certificate or not so that pages that start with HTTPS are theoretically secure, while those that do not can leave your data exposed. The lack of the HTTPS protocol can also be synonymous with a possible phishing attack since websites that try to duplicate a legitimate website often lack this certificate.
4. Strong passwords
Although years ago it was common to use simple passwords to access our accounts, for example, the name of our pet or our date of birth, these types of passwords have already gone down in history because they are really vulnerable. That is why it is necessary to use long, complex, and random passwords, preferably also using numbers and special characters, since only in this way can we prevent them from being hacked using a dictionary attack.
5. Unique passwords
Also, in addition to being robust, the passwords we use to access our online accounts must also be unique. Suppose a user uses the same password for all their online accounts. In that case, any possible leak that takes place in any of them can compromise the rest of their accounts throughout the network, so it is always essential to choose an individual password for each of them. A password manager can be very useful in this task.
Prevention is the best tool
Although all the tools we have mentioned are very useful when browsing the internet and can minimize the risks of cyber attacks, it is important to remember that prevention can be the best tool. Limit the content you publish on social networks as much as possible, avoid opening accounts on online platforms if you do not need them, and pay attention to suspicious emails and SMS. These security measures cost nothing and can save us more than we initially think.